Island Hopping Holiday: Best Islands in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is the capital Emirate city of UAE (United Arab Emirates). Although it is not as popular as Dubai, it is richer than the latter and is also known for its deep rooted culture. The city is also the epitome of luxury, with numerous classy malls, gorgeous hotels (The Emirates Palace hotel being the best one), and several cultural centres. However, not many people know that Abu Dhabi is made of several island. While some are natural, there are several manmade island too. The best part is that some of these islands offer interesting places to see and exciting things to do. So, if you are in Abu Dhabi for a holiday, you do not have to stick to the regular tourist attractions. Rather, take time to visit some of these islands in Abu Dhabi.
While you may know everything about Abu Dhabi from the time it become a part of the UAE, you may not know about this region in the past. If you are interested to know more about the history of this area, you must visit Dalma Island. The history of this island dates back to 10,000 years, right to the Neolithic Age. The occupation of the inhabitants was pearl diving and you can still find the evidence for the same. Surprisingly, this island has fresh water and hence has been able to produce vegetables and fruits that are impossible to grow in Abu Dhabi or any other Emirate city. Located 42 kilometres from Abu Dhabi, you have to either take the ferry or a flight to reach this historical island.
Things to do at Dalma Island:
A great place for a day trip, here are some of the things that you can do on Dalma Island:
- A visit to Dalma Museum would give you an insight to the history of the place. You would be able to see some of the interesting artefacts which were recovered during excavations on the island.
- You can check out the ancient mosques of Al Dossary, Al-Meraikhi and Al-Mohannadi, which reflect the Arabic and Islamic architecture of the past.
- You should visit Al-Heerat sites, one of the most popular pearl diving spot on the island, to know more about this occupation of the people of Dalma.
Sir Bani Yas Island
If you are a nature lover, Sir Bani Yas Island, located 170 km away from the main city, is home to one of the largest and important wildlife reserves (the Arabian Wildlife Park) of the region. It is home to more than 10,000 animals including cheetahs, Arabian oryx, giraffes, hyenas, gazelles, etc. The only way to reach this island is by air or water.
Things to do at Sir Bani Yas Island:
There are lots of fun and interesting activities awaiting you at this island.
- Going on a wildlife safari at the Arabian Wildlife Park is surely one of the best things to do on Sir Bani Yas Island. With 10,000 animals roaming on the island freely, you would be able to have a glimpse of at least a few.
- While a day trip to the island is perfect, you can extend your visit by staying at one of the 5 star hotels or resorts on the island. Although away from the main city, these hotels and resorts offer every modern facility and luxury that you can imagine.
- You can lounge at one of the beaches and indulge in some exciting water sports.
- Adventure enthusiasts would surely love this island as they would get to go on hiking as well as mountain biking trips on the island.
- This island has around 42 archaeological sites, which make for an interesting cultural tour.
If you are craving for some peace, quiet and luxury, away from the city of Abu Dhabi, the Saadiyat Island offers you all this and much more. The Saadiyat Island aims for cultural tourism. Although not completely developed, you would find several world class museums, art centres, etc. on this island. As the island is just 10 minutes away from the city by car, you can visit it just for a day or take the chance to stay at one of its luxury hotels or resorts and have a good time relaxing and exploring the place.
Things to do at Saadiyat Island:
Although there are several upcoming places on this island, there are many interesting places to see on Saadiyat Island.
- One of the main highlights about this island is that it houses the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Known to be the largest art museum in the Arabian Peninsula, the Louvre Museum covers an area of 24,000 square meters. The museum aims to bridge the gap between eastern and western art.
- Apart from this, you would also be able to visit Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in the near future.
- Visit Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, which is the first ocean course of the region. You would be able to enjoy the beauty of the white sand beaches of the island.
- For some much needed relaxation, head out to the Saadiyat Public Beach where you can lounge on the beach or take a dip in its clean, turquoise waters.
- Saadiyat Island is home to the Hawksbill sea turtles and you would be able to see several hawksbill turtle nests on Saadiyat Beach, every year.
Yas Island is surely one of the most popular islands in Abu Dhabi. It is one of Abu Dhabi’s manmade islands and possesses some of the major attractions of the city. Occupying an area of 25,000 hectares of land, Yas Island is just 30 minutes drive from the Emirate city of Abu Dhabi. The place has numerous theme parks, hotels, resorts, golf courses, residential areas, etc.
Things to Do at Yas Island:
There is no dearth of exciting things to do at Yas Island. Whatever might be your interest, a trip to Yas Island would be a memorable one.
- The Ferrari World is an F1 themed amusement park, which has some great rides and attractions. The Formula Rossa, the fastest rollercoaster, is the superstar of the Ferrari World.
- The Yas Waterworld is a place to go to if you and your family enjoy water parks. This water park has static surding waves, adventurous waterslides and many such attractions.
- The Yas Island is home to Warner Bros. World, the first and only one in the Middle East. This is an indoor amusement park with several zones inspired by franchises of Warner Bros.
- Apart from all this, Yas Island has Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Mall, Yas Marina and Yas Beach. With so many things to do here, you can have an amazing holiday on Yas Island itself.
Some other islands of Abu Dhabi include Zaya Nurai Island, Bu Tinah Island, Lulu Island, Happiness Island, Dolphin Island, Al Maya Island, etc. Most of these are known for their luxury resorts and hotels and are perfect for a weekend getaway with family and friends.